And the semi-finalists for the Idea Cafe Innovation and Originality Grant are...

Here they are, the semi-finalists for the Innovation and Originality Grant. Everyone on that list impressed us with their ingenuity, business acumen, and willingness to help others. If you are on the list -- congratulations! If not -- stay tuned to see which of the semi-finalists will continue to the next stage of the grant campaign.

We will announce the finalists in about a week. They will have a chance to present themselves and their business to the Idea Cafe audience, which will then vote for their favorite entrepreneur.

The winner will be announced before the year is over. Traditionally, winning an Idea Cafe grant proved to be the first step to prominence, wider recognition and more successes for previous winners. For them, winning meant more than simply getting a $1,000 check. We hope to be able to tell some of their stories in the coming days, on the Idea Cafe blog.


Wow! "ingenuity, business

Wow! "ingenuity, business acumen, and willingness to help others" --It's an absolute honor to be considered among other businesses meeting this description.

I'm so excited for my Shop

I'm so excited for my Shop Denida idea to be considered among the semi finalists. It is an honor. There are so many great ideas, it is almost surreal to be one of them.

Happy Wednesday

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for choosing PALS with Pawz, it is a great honor to be considered. We are REALLY excited.

I was very honored to have

I was very honored to have been included in the list of semi-finalists! Winning would be the ultimate, of course, but having my idea and Knowledge Empowerment being viewed as worthy of serious consideration for funding is very gratifying. Thank you!

I am sooooooo excited. I

I am sooooooo excited. I twittered about the honor yesterday. Thank you so much for considering the International Association of Solopreneurs. I am filled with gratitude.

Thanks heaps

I am honored to be among so

I am honored to be among so many fine candidates and strong idea's of the semi-finalist stage.

Greener Planet Design has been a life-long dream and motivating factor in many facets of my life.

Idea café has already helped me to launch my company, without over-thinking it, due to the grant opportunity and advice.

As I have already experienced many ups and downs, that can often cause one to stall their dream, I offer to all of the fine entrepreneurs a piece of poetry that I now hang in my office to keep me going:

Follow Your Dream

Trouble arrives in measures,
and we stack it up real high,
until we're convinced,
we have no reason to try.
If you feel defeated,
you're absolutely wrong,
for if you follow your dream,
you could never lose for long.
Ignore the minor set-backs
that pile up and trouble you,
or you will build a mountain,
out of the stones hurled at you.
The future holds great promise,
your destiny unknown,
but God is always helping,
and you're never alone.
Soar bravely toward your goal.
Let nothing darken the way.
You can change your tomorrow,
if you seek your dream today.

Written by Bobette Bryan

I wish all candidates a heart felt good luck.

THANK YOU! It really is an

THANK YOU! It really is an honor to be considered with the other semi-finalists. The thrill of hearing Action Management was on the list is motivating us to push even harder to get help for the elderly women at risk of losing their homes.

Thank you again for this opportunity and GOOD LUCK to all the semi-finalists.

I am indeed grateful that

I am indeed grateful that SafeLyfe Personal Security has made it to the Semi-final stage. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to bring my dreams to reality.

Words cannot describe how it

Words cannot describe how it feels to know that my company, Dablo Enterprises dba Pelvic Pain Solutions, is being recognized as one of the semi-finalists among the many innovative and wonderful companies listed.

Your honorable mention of my company inspired me to continue my lifelong passion to help the 5.5 million women and young girls in the US alone who live with chronic pelvic pain. Whether or not I am blessed to be the recipient of this award, I already feel empowered about the future of my business. Your site’s recognition motivated me to focus even more on contacting the media, natural health and medical industry regarding my product.

Idea Cafe is truly an inspiration and I thank you for guiding me through my journey.

My best to all the semi-finalists!

Wow! Something else

Wow! Something else wonderful to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. It's great to have The Playground Guide recognized by Idea Cafe. It's been a ton of fun bringing this product to market and the Idea Cafe has been and will continue to be an insightful resource to help fuel our growth. Best of luck to all.

Congratulations to each and

Congratulations to each and every semi-finalist!

It is truly an honor to be chosen as a semi-finalist amongst so many talented, intelligent, hard-working and creative people that inspire to help others. It's a pleasure to share this honor with all of you.

I know that each of us have worked hard and have struggled through the ups and downs of starting our own business. Perseverance has prevailed and look where its brought us!

Good luck to you all. What a great way to start the Holiday Season!

We have go so much to be

We have go so much to be grateful for in the midst of all our economical unheavals. The media's portrayal of our nation and the daily challenges that business owners encompass can be extremely overwhelming, but to escape to my computer and open my emails was such a joy. Just finding out that Message and A Meal reached the semi finalist status for one of Idea Cafes Grant contest , was a fitting way to end the day. I wish all of the candiates great success in all their business endeavors. "The race is not given to the swift, but to those who endure to the end"! God Bless and Best of wishes to all semi finalist.

What amazing business ideas

What amazing business ideas and companies! It is a real honor to be named along-side such entrepreneurs. I am so thrilled to have my company listed as a semi-finalist!

Getting this news today couldn't be more timely! My bank account got hacked for over $500, so I spent the day returning some business supplies to offset the charges until the bank resolves the issue. I was so disheartened wondering how we were going to handle the holidays, much less if I would be able to continue forward with my business. Even if I don't win the grant, it is the encouragement and validation I needed to persevere through the challenges.

It is wonderful to have such a supportive and valuable resource like the Idea Cafe. I hope we all have wild success with our business ventures. Best of luck to everyone!

Amy Goldenburg, PHR
Founder, I Go Coo

ps I'd love to share my site

ps I'd love to share my site with you all. Please check it out at

I'm offering one month free just to try my service.

Idea Cafe is the perfect place to meet other entrepreneurs to help take a creative look at our endeavors.

Let me know what you think!


[email protected]

I'm so honored to be listed

I'm so honored to be listed amongst such amazing and innovative businesses! Best wishes and success to everyone!

I am very grateful for this

I am very grateful for this opportunity. I've been in the throes of great despair following Katrina. I lost not only all my jewelry and my favorite city in ruins, but much of my faith in humanity. Then my body ran out and joined the enemy camp, and I spent most of this year in severe pain and unable to work. It was through the the people with whom I dealt going through the public health system, that really made a difference. Sure, I had to wait days and even months to see the right specialist. But every time I had to call, I got a smile and encouragement in my ear. Receiving word that I am even being considered for the grant has just added to the overwhelming sense of gratitude for everything that's happened.

We're honored to be in such

We're honored to be in such impressive company.

We know how hard everyone is working — innovating and risking it all to help others and in the process create new jobs that are key to a faster economic recovery.

Idea Cafe's grant gives all of us entrepreneurs and small business owners a forum to remind Washington we're here, we're a force, and collectively we're "too big to let fail."

Thank you Idea Cafe for stepping up with some much-needed funding for microbusinesses, and we hope you are starting a trend.

Jennifer and Alexis Luhrs
Luhrs Media Co.

Thank you for profiling padma

Thank you for profiling padma media & marketing alongside other well-deserving businesses.

Your recognition of our agency work that helps establish a line of communication between companies and ethnic consumers, proves that you value diversity and the melting pot that our great country has become.

Thank you Idea Cafe!

Ana Lydia Ochoa
padma media & marketing

I just want to say thank you

I just want to say thank you for including me (and Anonymous Ink) in the semifinalists! This alone is so truly inspiring... and has motivated me to *push-push-push* for further growth as an individual, a plan, and a business.

Thank you so much!

Wow, just like all the other

Wow, just like all the other semi-finalists, I am honored to be here. Words cannot express the emotions that I feel and especially in this time of need! I hope to be able to help all of those tht are deployed and not able to send their loved ones cards when they want....

Thanks again,


It is so lovely to be

It is so lovely to be recognized and surrounded by so many great small business owners. I am grateful just to be able to do what I love and feel so committed and passionate about. Congratulations to everyone, best wishes and continued success.

Renee Wold

Renee- I love your

I love your Sustainability-Model for Success. PLUS, you have a very "tasteful" site.

Great passion- good luck!


Friendly Fungus Farms in

Friendly Fungus Farms in Pungo Va is the most amazing operation I have ever experienced!! Nearly All of the medicinal mushrooms and vegitables are excellerating more than anyone elses farm I have toured! The solar panels are literally running everything!! How neat is this? You need to really check this place out!! There is just too much to explain-

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